Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Can parasites change our behavior?

An unassuming single-celled organism called Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful parasites on Earth, infecting an estimated 11 percent of Americans and perhaps half of all people worldwide. It's just as prevalent in many other species of mammals and birds. In a recent study in Ohio, scientists found the parasite in three-quarters of the white-tailed deer they studied.

One reason for Toxoplasma's success is its ability to manipulate its hosts. The parasite can influence their behavior, so much so that hosts can put themselves at risk of death. Scientists first discovered this strange mind control in the 1990s, but it's been hard to figure out how they manage it. Now a new study suggests that Toxoplasma can turn its host's genes on and off — and it's possible other parasites use this strategy, too.

Read the rest here:


Radio show about Bartonella

WIsconsin Public Radio shows on bartonella with Ed Breitschwardt and Dr. Mozayeni. 
Subject: [Wisconsin-LymeSupport] Re: WPR (Wisconsin Public Radio)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Master list of Lyme disease movies and videos

The release of Under Our Skin 2: Emergence has brought further attention to films related to Lyme disease. This is a list of some of the Lyme disease movies/videos. There are also many news video clips on Lyme disease. It is not a complete list, but a start. If anyone can expand on this, feel free to do so by leaving a comment for me here on my Lyme blog:


-Bob Cowart

This movie list was originally compiled and sent out on 8/29/2014 by Dr Robert Bransfield, an LLMD based in New Jersey, USA.


8/30/2014  I added about  8 more entries (Bob Cowart)

General coverage:

Under Our Skin, Under Our Skin 2: Emergence:




Invisible Illness: Lyme disease, TED:

French Lyme video: (52 minutes) “Lyme Disease: A Silent Epidemic"

Two versions -- one in French and one in English. It is very good and includes interviews of American as well as French LLMDs and patients (including Pr Christian Perronne and Dr Richard Horowitz).

It is called: Produced by France 5 Public Network 


The Voices of Lyme Disease-Breaking the Silence created by Victoria Wilcox, a 16 year old girl and her friend, Sara Lynch:


Documentary Film on Lyme Disease and Stealth Infections, Invisibly Ill, Australia:


Great Lyme Disease Parody!


Ode to Lyme Brain


Lyme Awareness Video


Under the Eight Ball:


The Lyme Altar: A People's History of Symptoms, Sacrifice and Hope
From Touchable Stories Productions (40 minutes)

Curable: Lyme Disease & Morgellon's
From Science of Medicine Publishing

Curable: Autsim, ADHD, Lyme Disease with Co-Infection & Morgellon's Disease
From Science of Medicine Publishing

Lyme Disease: What You Should Know (Lyme Disease Foundation)


Lyme Disease: The Holistic Approach (75 minutes)

From IngaVid Productions

Currently unavailable

Celebrity videos:

Yolanda Foster's Experience With Lyme: LRA Gala


Daryl Hall Speaks About Persistent Lyme Disease Infection


Dorothy Leland (Lymedisease.org) shared this story:



Alan MacDonald videos:


Mason Kuhn, Lyme and Autism, video is half way down the blog:


Pr Luc Montagnier on Lyme disease, autism and chronic infections


Lyme Disease - Seasons On The Fly, Dr Jason West:



Rep. Mario Scavello poses some questions at the House Appropriations Committee budget hearing with the Department of Health.

Rep. Scavello Asks About Lyme Disease at Health Budget Hearingd

Some ILADS videos:





Also, do an Internet search of Lyme or Lyme + video + the names of the doctors involved with Lyme disease to find many additional videos. When I did this with my name I was surprised to find 7 videos.


Robert C Bransfield, MD, DLFAPA

225 Highway 35

Red Bank, NJ 07701

Phone: 732-741-3263

Fax: 732-741-5308

Website: www.MentalHealthandIllness.com

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Disseminated Lyme Disease Presenting With Nonsexual Acute Genital Ulcers

Finch JJ, Wald J, Ferenczi K, Khalid S, Murphy M.

JAMA Dermatology. Online before print, 2014 Aug 27. 



Importance  Nonsexual acute genital ulceration (NAGU) is a rare vulvar skin condition typically affecting girls and young women, characterized by acute onset of singular or multiple painful vaginal ulcers. The etiology of this ulcerative dermatosis has not been identified, although it has been associated with systemic infections. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an association with Lyme disease.

Observations  A case of a woman with early disseminated Lyme disease presenting with NAGU is reported. A thorough workup ruled out other causes of genital ulceration, and the ulcers completely resolved after treatment with topical steroids and oral doxycycline.

Conclusions and Relevance  Although the etiology of NAGU is unknown, the vulvar ulcers may result from an exuberant immune response to infection. Most patients with NAGU exhibit nonspecific symptoms such as myalgias and fever, suggesting an infectious agent, but the majority have no identifiable pathogen. In addition to previously reported associations with systemic infection, which are reviewed herein, Lyme disease should be considered in women presenting with acute-onset genital ulcers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Accessing Affordable, Effective and Safe Medications

Access to the appropriate medically necessary medication has been challenging for a number of reasons in our current healthcare system. If you are having difficulty accessing your prescribed medications you may be interested in the following resources:

https://www.pparx.org  Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a clearinghouse to network with drug companies that have patient assistance programs to provide medication for free to individuals that meet income requirements.

http://RxOutreach.org  Discount prices to individuals that meet certain income requirements.
A number of different companies provide discount cards for medications. Physicians are mailed these and they are on the Internet. 

Healthcare Alliance: www.TheHealtCareAlliance.com  

Half Off: www.HalfOffRx.com 

National Prescription Savings Network: www.NPSNCard.com 

Patient Savings Alliance: www.PatientSavingsAlliance.com  

Avia Partners: www.AviaPartners.com 

Go to the drug company website for the medication prescribed and access discount coupons. These websites are often www.(name of the drug).com

www.GoodRx.com  Type in the name of the drug and your zip code and compare the prices in different drug stores and discount coupons can be printed.

Costco has a drug pricing tool, but it is difficult to find it on their website. They charge 3% above wholesale, but do not carry every medication. It is useful as a price guide. You do not have to be a member to use the pharmacy. http://www.costco.com/pharmacy/drug-directory-main?storeId=10301&catalogId=10701&langId=-1

In general, outlet stores and supermarkets are cheaper than pharmacy chains and use the pharmacy as a loss leader to draw customers into the store. Don't waste a lot of time with insurance company approval barriers or manipulations to use their 90 day prescriptions or mail order pharmacies for a generic medication in which the cash price is less or close to the insurance company copay.

Be advised that some generics are inequivalent to brand name drugs. Demand generic brands that are known to be equivalent with that particular medication and avoid generic brands that known to be inequivalent.

Use caution when using Internet and foreign pharmacies. Many "Canadian Pharmacies" are not in Canada and there are risks of substandard, fraudulent and potentially toxic medications.

A knowledgeable pharmacist is a pivotal part of your healthcare. This is most commonly acquired at a local pharmacy that provides personalized attention. Also independent pharmacies have greater access to more wholesalers and greater flexibility to order the brand of the generic that is more effective. Often it is better to pay a little more at a pharmacy that provides this service.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Clarithromycin Linked to Increased Cardiac Death Risk

(HealthDay News) -- There is a significantly increased risk of cardiac death associated with clarithromycin use, according to a study published online August 19 in BMJ.

Henrik Svanstr√∂m, from the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues assessed the risk of cardiac death associated with use of clarithromycin and roxithromycin compared with penicillin V in Danish adults (aged 40–74 years). Participants had received seven-day treatment courses with clarithromycin (160,297 adults), roxithromycin (588,988 adults), and penicillin V (4,355,309 adults).

Here is the source article:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

EIGHT species of Borrelia found in the SF Bay Area's Alameda County

Remarkable diversity of tick or mammalian-associated Borreliae in the metropolitan San Francisco Bay Area, California.
Fedorova N, Kleinjan JE, James D, Hui LT, Peeters H, Lane RS.

Ticks Tick Borne Diseases. Online before print, 2014 Aug 13. pii: S1877-959X(14)00160-5. 



The diversity of Lyme disease (LD) and relapsing fever (RF)-group spirochetes in the metropolitan San Francisco Bay area in northern California is poorly understood. We tested Ixodes pacificus, I. spinipalpis, and small mammals for presence of borreliae in Alameda County in the eastern portion of San Francisco Bay between 2009 and 2012. 

Analyses of 218 Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bb sl) culture or DNA isolates recovered from host-seeking I. pacificus ticks revealed that the human pathogen Bb sensu stricto (hereinafter, B. burgdorferi) had the broadest habitat distribution followed by B. bissettii. Three other North American Bb sl spirochetes, B. americana, B. californiensis and B. genomospecies 2, also were detected at lower prevalence. 

 genotyping of the resultant 167 B. burgdorferi isolates revealed six ospC alleles (A, D, E3, F, H and K) in I. pacificus. A novel spirochete belonging to the Eurasian Bb sl complex, designated CA690, was found in a questing I. spinipalpis nymph. Borrelia miyamotoi, a relapsing-fever (RF) group spirochete recently implicated as a human pathogen, was detected in 24 I. pacificus. 

Three rodent species were infected with Bb sl: the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) with B. burgdorferi, and the dusky-footed wood rat (Neotoma fuscipes) and roof rat (Rattus rattus) with B. bissettii. Another spirochete that clustered phylogenetically with the Spanish R57 Borrelia sp. in a clade distinct from both the LD and RF groups infected some of the roof rats. 

Together, eight borrelial genospecies were detected in ticks or small mammals from a single Californian county, two of which were related phylogenetically to European spirochetes.




Saturday, August 16, 2014

Two more Lyme-associated Parkinsonism references

Neuroborreliosis in a patient with progressive supranuclear paralysis. An association or the cause?

TITLE: [Neuroborreliosis in a patient with progressive supranuclear
paralysis. An association or the cause?]

VERNACULAR TITLE: Neuroborreliosis en un paciente con paralisis
supranuclear progresiva: asociacion o causa? 

AUTHORS: Garcia-Moreno JM;
Izquierdo G; Chacon J; Angulo S; Borobio MV

AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Departamento de Inmunologia, Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Macarena, Sevilla, Espana. Ay...@arrakis.es

SOURCE: Rev Neurol 1997 Dec;25(148):1919-21

CITATION IDS: PMID: 9528031 UI: 98188456


INTRODUCTION: Many different neurological conditions may be seen in the
later stages of Lyme Disease, such as blindness, epileptic crises,
CVA, extrapyramidal disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and
dementia may be yet another form of presentation of chronic infection
due to Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). Progressive Supranuclear Paralysis
(PSP), a disorder of unknown aetiology, considered to be the commonest
cause of Parkinsonism-plus, one of the symptoms of which is dementia,
has never been mentioned in this type of differential diagnosis.

CLINICAL CASE: We present the case of a 78 year old man with sub-acute
mental deterioration, Bb positive serology in both plasma and CSF, and
with clinical and epidemiological features compatible with Lyme's
Disease. Complementary tests were negative. The syndrome corresponded
to Lyme's Disease and improved after treatment with ceftriaxona.

CONCLUSIONS: We consider aspects of the aetiology of PSP which are still not clear. In our patient, the aetiology seemed to be Bb infection, according to the criteria of the original description of the disease and in view of the neuropathological findings which have shown Bb in the substancia nigra of the mid-brain and the existence of an animal model in which Bb shows a particular tendency to colonize infratentorial structures. 

burgdorferi/*isolation & purification
Lyme Disease/*complications
Substantia Nigra/*microbiology
Substantia Nigra/*pathology
Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive/*diagnosis
Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive/*microbiology
Antiparkinson Agents/therapeutic use
Case Report
Ceftriaxone/therapeutic use
Cephalosporins/therapeutic use
English Abstract
Facies Frontal Lobe/radionuclide imaging Human Lyme Disease/drug
therapy Magnetic Resonance Imaging Male Parietal Lobe/radionuclide
imaging Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive/drug therapy Temporal
Lobe/radionuclide imaging Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
NUMBERS: 0 (Antiparkinson Agents) 0 (Cephalosporins) 73384-59-5
(Ceftriaxone) LANGUAGES: Spa

Title: [Neurologic forms of Lyme disease. 12 cases]
Authors: Viader F, Poncelet AM, Chapon F, Thenint JP, Dupuy B, Morin P,
Lechevalier B
Source: Rev Neurol (Paris) 1989;145(5):362-8
Organization: Service de Neurologie Dejerine, CHU de Caen.

Twelve cases of Lyme disease with neurological complications are
reported. Seven patients had meningoradiculitis of the Garin-Bujadoux-
Bannwarth type, with facial palsy in 2 cases. In 1 case the radiculitis
involved only the cauda equina. Two more patients had meningomyelitis.
Of the remaining 3, 1 had subacute inflammatory polyneuritis with
albumino-cytologic dissociation, 1 had probable dorsal epiduritis, and
the last one developed parkinsonism and communicating hydrocephalus
after an otherwise classical meningoradiculitis. Three patients
recalled a tick bite but only one a cutaneous eruption. No arthritis or
cardiac involvement were observed. In 2 cases the CSF contained pseudo-
neoplastic cells. Severe pain was a prominent feature in most cases.
Pain consistently and rapidly improved on high-dose intravenous
penicillin, while other signs or symptoms (e.g. paresthesias or
fatigue) often lasted several months. Parkinsonism and hydrocephalus
were not influenced by penicillin, and both required specific therapy.
Isolated neurological (both central and peripheral) involvement is not
unusual in Lyme's disease and may give rise to a wide range of signs
and symptoms. This diagnosis is to be considered even when other
features of Borrelia burgdorferi infection are lacking.

Adult, Aged, English Abstract, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Human, Lyme

Language: Fre

Unique ID: 89297964

Friday, August 15, 2014

Social causes of Lyme, Parkinson's and depression?

I find this study to be quite interesting and a nuanced conception of how an individual's work, social standing and self image could affect his/her immune system health and potentially create a cascade effect leading to clinical depression and even neurological degeneration. I have read over the years that, for example, the experience of humiliation is one of the most difficult life circumstances to navigate and recover from. In some cultures, public humiliation is tantamount to death, or worse. Historically speaking and cross-culturally, exile and excommunication have often been seen as more deeply punitive than being condemned to death. 


Psychol Bulletin. Author manuscript; available in PMC May 1, 2014.
Published in final edited form as:
Published online Jan 13, 2014. doi:  10.1037/a0035302
PMCID: PMC4006295

From Stress to Inflammation and Major Depressive Disorder: A Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression

University of California, Los Angeles
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to George M. Slavich, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA Medical Plaza 300, Room 3156, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7076. Email: ude.alcu.tendem@hcivalsg
George M. Slavich and Michael R. Irwin, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology and Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles.
The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Psychol Bull


Major life stressors, especially those involving interpersonal stress and social rejection, are among the strongest proximal risk factors for depression. In this review, we propose a biologically plausible, multilevel theory that describes neural, physiologic, molecular, and genomic mechanisms that link experiences of social-environmental stress with internal biological processes that drive depression pathogenesis. Central to this social signal transduction theory of depression is the hypothesis that experiences of social threat and adversity up-regulate components of the immune system involved in inflammation. The key mediators of this response, called proinflammatory cytokines, can in turn elicit profound changes in behavior, which include the initiation of depressive symptoms such as sad mood, anhedonia, fatigue, psychomotor retardation, and social-behavioral withdrawal. This highly conserved biological response to adversity is critical for survival during times of actual physical threat or injury. However, this response can also be activated by modern-day social, symbolic, or imagined threats, leading to an increasingly proinflammatory phenotype that may be a key phenomenon driving depression pathogenesis and recurrence, as well as the overlap of depression with several somatic conditions including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and neurodegeneration. Insights from this theory may thus shed light on several important questions including how depression develops, why it frequently recurs, why it is strongly predicted by early life stress, and why it often co-occurs with symptoms of anxiety and with certain physical disease conditions. This work may also suggest new opportunities for preventing and treating depression by targeting inflammation.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New research that Borrelia does produce persister bacteria

A note from someone in the Lyme community:

Had you heard the news out of ASM2014 (American Society for Microbiology)? Kim Lewis from Northeastern has been doing research on what are called persisters (bacteria that can survive antibiotics without being killed). He had been granted about $6M in NIH (National Institute of Health) funding plus was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for chronic TB due to persisters. 

So he is the real deal in chronic infections and drug discovery to cure TB persisters and also has a culture team for bacteria that are difficult to culture. He was funded $.5M by the LRA (Lyme Research Alliance) to see if Borrelia has persisters which might explain chronic Lyme and lead to a cure

At ASM2014 they released the first results and Borrelia does produce persisters. This might be the most important Lyme news in a long time. Kim Lewis was the researcher who discovered and cured MRSA chronic infections due to persisters and not due to mutant, resistant bacteria.

Watch Kim Lewis's video on the Paradox of Chronic Infections.... Its worth watching! This video was done before the recent announcement at ASM 2014 but watch with that discovery in mind and that this researcher received $6M from the NIH. The NIH is cautious in selecting grant recipients, as is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.